The next generation of crew
So what does the next generation of yacht crew need to do to ensure they stay ahead of the game and meet the rising expectations of owners?
A trend where new, high profile yachts attract the best crew has been emerging in recent years and this has often meant lots of movement and lack of continuity. Owners and management companies are starting to offer increasing loyalty bonuses to their higher ranking crew to ensure this continuity in the running of their boats. Having said that, there has also been a demand for less expensive senior crew, and these positions are being more and more fulfilled by younger members.
So what does the next generation of yacht crew need to do to ensure they stay ahead of the game and meet the rising expectations of owners? There is a rise in the need for multi-skilled deck and interior crew, where extra certificates such as scuba diving, kite-surfing and massage qualifications are more highly sought-after than ever before. With the only entry certificate needed to work on yachts being an STCW-95, there is a demand for serious and professional entry-level crew who understand the expectations of the industry.
Organisations such as the non-profit Young Professionals in Yachting, which has bases in Florida and Monaco, aim to educate and promote ethical business practice within the industry as president John Jarvie explains, “The goal is to provide young professionals with a comfortable and educational environment which nurtures those who aspire to learn, succeed and secure the professional and ethical future of the yachting industry.”
The general consensus appears to be that education, training, mentor programmes and internships should be instigated to ensure the next generation of yacht crew are in it for the right reasons and equipped with not only the skills but the character, personality and career ambitions needed. Internship and cadetship programmes such as those offered by maritime training provider and youth charity UKSA are ensuring that it’s not only certificates and exams that green crew have under their belts, but that they understand and are equipped to handle the demands of working at sea.
On board training is also fast becoming one of the most productive forms of crew training to ensure a happy and efficient crew. Karen Passman, managing director of Impact Crew, spoke with SYOG and explained, “The close proximity and intensity of the work environment has significant impact on crew morale, performance and in turn, expenditure. No owner wants to hear the in-house bickering, or experience high crew turnover and have to deal with learning new names and faces with each trip.
When owners invest in their yacht they need continuity, consistency and cooperation among crew to achieve the unparalleled standards of service.
"Research has shown that when a group of people are brought together as a team, the level of performance is less than the sum of the individuals. Each team member brings to the team their own thoughts, ideas, emotions and behavioural styles.
"The result is, that much time is spent dealing with the distractions of overcoming individual differences. Impact Crew provides on board whole crew team development. Time is spent understanding these differences and the strengths individuals bring to the crew; helping teams to agree working practices, deal with differences and develop unity, which can transform their performance and in turn the experience of their guests."